Josef Newgarden extended his points advantage at the top of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers’ championship by taking his fourth win of the season at Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday night, albeit not without controversy after contact with Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.

Newgarden led 170 of the 248 laps en route to his first oval victory of the year, with the winning move coming with 30 to go when he made an ambitious move on Pagenaud following the final round of pit stops.

A touch entering Turn 1 forced Pagenaud up high, the Frenchman slipping behind Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the process and allowing Newgarden to skip clear.

Newgarden ultimately crossed the line six-tenths of a second clear of Dixon, while defending champion Pagenaud was left disgruntled in third place.

“I didn't want us to be denied tonight for sure,” Newgarden said. “Simon gave me a lane to work with. I had a good tow on him, put my car inside in the opening, got about halfway alongside of him.

“One thing I didn't want to do was touch him too hard. I think if I would have stayed too far left, I would have jumped the curb and that would have taken both of us out.

“I tried to get Simon to move over a little when we were coming to the opening of the corner. We both had to slow up. Fortunately worked out well for us.

“Pagenaud didn't get up into the wall or anything like that, so I would say it worked out okay for him, too.”

Pagenaud did not see things that way, though, calling out his teammate for the move.

“I think if it wasn’t me, he would be in the fence with somebody else. That’s what I’ve got to say,” Pagenaud said.

“He doesn’t have respect for me. I’ve never seen Scott [Dixon] do that to his teammates in his whole career. I respect the hell out of [Dixon].”

Helio Castroneves gave Penske three of the top four positions, taking P4 ahead of Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi.

Charlie Kimball crossed the line seventh for Ganassi ahead of James Hinchcliffe and Carlos Munoz, while Sebastien Bourdais took a remarkable 10th-place finish upon his return to racing from injury.



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